Washington Redskins 2014 Mock Draft: Who Is the Ideal Pick in Every Round?
Fortunately, the ideal players for this need will be available to the Redskins with their first two selections. After that Washington can target a pair of linemen to add bulk to a toddler-sized offensive front.
The final two rounds will afford general manager Bruce Allen and new head coach Jay Gruden the chance to make at least one luxury pick at a skill position.
Here are the prospects who would be the ideal pick for the Redskins in each round.
Round 2, Pick 2: Dion Bailey, S, USC
Dion Bailey would be far from a reach for the Redskins at the top of the second round. The USC Trojans star is a dream fit at free safety.
Bailey has genuine hybrid skills thanks to his time spent at outside linebacker before converting to defensive back. He is a solid hitter, but his habit of stealing the ball should entice Redskins coaches the most.
He defensed six passes in 2013 and intercepted five others, as well as forcing a fumble, per cfbstats.com. Bailey can be the prolific playmaker the Washington defensive backfield needs at the safety position.
That is high praise indeed and hints at some of the creative ways defensive coordinator Jim Haslett would be able to use Bailey in D.C.
In his seven-round mock draft, Bleacher Report columnist Matt Miller has Bailey coming off the board at the 26th pick of round two. But Bailey's versatility and scheme suitability make him worth a much higher selection by the Redskins.
Round 3, Pick 2: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
The Washington defensive backfield needs more physical players at cornerback. That should put Oklahoma cover man Aaron Colvin on the team's radar.
The Sooners ace has good size for the position at 6'0" and 192 pounds. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Colvin among his "top 50 prospects," noting his stature and aggressive technique as major plus points:
Colvin is a tall cornerback with good play speed and awareness. He's ideally suited to play press coverage, where he can use his strength to re-direct wideouts and mirror all over the field. In off-coverage, he is a little sticky out of his break but he has enough juice to drive on the ball and makes plays. His background as a safety really helps with his route recognition. He is very aggressive in run support.
Colvin's height and willingness to use his frame to muscle receivers are perfect for a secondary that has looked competent when employing press techniques.
But CBS Sports writer Dane Brugler suggests Colvin can be overly physical and is a candidate to draw penalties and fall for double moves and play action.
But those are things that good coaching can help cure. Remedying those issues is how secondary coach Raheem Morris proves the front office wasn't insane to retain him.
Colvin's CBS Sports profile lists him as a projected third-round pick, making him ideal for the Redskins at that stage.
Round 4, Pick 2: Bradnon Linder, G, Miami
The need to beef up the offensive front is obvious after a season seeing Redskins guards toyed with on a weekly basis. University of Miami prospect Brandon Linder would be an ideal solution to the problem in the fourth round.
The Hurricanes road grader is a giant of a man. Standing 6'6" and weighing 319 pounds, Linder is tough to move inside.
In addition to excelling at the heart of the trenches, Linder has also seen time at right tackle. That makes him a great choice for the Redskins given the need to upgrade both positions on the right side of their line.
Round 5, Pick 2: Brandon Thomas, G, Clemson
Brandon Thomas is another interior O-lineman who represents excellent value for the Redskins at this stage of the draft.
Thomas did some good work in Clemson's zone-style schemes. That mode of blocking suits what the Redskins currently do best.
Thomas has been a revelation since moving from tackle to guard for the Tigers. He is skilled along the inside and displays deceptive initial strength.
Since the Redskins would be foolish to completely ditch the zone-based system that has helped make running back Alfred Morris a star, Thomas makes a lot of sense.
Round 6, Pick 2: Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky
Finding a replacement for London Fletcher is important this offseason, but it doesn't have to be a draft priority. Free agents like New York Giants starters Jon Beason or Spencer Paysinger could fill the void.
But even if they opt for a veteran to replace a veteran, the Redskins could still use more depth at linebacker. That is what makes Andrew Jackson an ideal pick in the sixth round.
The Western Kentucky man mountain boasts the size the Washington defense desperately needs at inside linebacker. The type of 3-4 Haslett runs demands a big-bodied plugger in the middle who won't be swallowed up by guards.
At 6'1" and 257 pounds, Jackson has the squat base and powerful frame to be a natural force on the inside. The Hilltoppers talisman was in on 95 combined tackles, according to cfbstats.com, including 8.5 for loss.
The Redskins should bring back Perry Riley Jr. to play the roving, more athletic role in their 3-4. Next to Riley though, this defense must have a stout, run-first defender.
Jackson fits the bill, and Bleacher Report writer Matt Miller sees him lasting until the middle of the sixth round. Washington should make its move a few picks sooner.
Round 7, Pick 2: Jacob Pedersen, TE, Wisconsin
The chances of Fred Davis returning to the team are slim, so the Redskins should add another playmaker at tight end. That player should be Wisconsin's Jacob Pedersen.
The Badgers pass-catcher is in the mold of athletic, "move" tight end Jordan Reed. Pedersen would provide excellent cover for Reed, who had his share of injury issues during an otherwise brilliant rookie season.
Matt Miller has Pedersen lasting until the ninth pick of Round 7. That puts him firmly in the Redskins' grasp and the team shouldn't miss its chance to expand its array of targets for quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Roving, "joker" tight ends like Reed and Pedersen are more than just a trend in today's NFL. They are the main matchup nightmare for modern defenses. It only makes sense to have more than one at your disposal.
While running the Cincinnati offense, Gruden was fond of using multiple-tight end sets. He relied on Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert to make plays for the Bengals.
Along with new offensive coordinator Sean McVay's background as a tight ends coach, it seems natural the Redskins will feature the position more in 2014.
But Gruden and McVay will need more than just Reed to help them do that. Snaring Pedersen would be the next logical step.
All of these picks represent the best value and answer pressing needs for the Redskins. Do they match with your own choices for the team?